Purple Boots and the Powertex – Part 2

Back with my Powertex uniform on…well not so much a uniform as my painting clothes! Powertex is designed to make fabric hard so obviously it does exactly that, not so great in your favourite jeans. My ‘out of the frame’ pieces have been so popular and the course is filling up so I have produced another sample to entice you.

My fantasy house is made from a large pickle jar. I love the way this great product lets me upcycle so many things. I start with a design idea – where will the windows and door go, do I need a chimney? After some very careful wrapping, using t shirt yarn that I make with my trusty rotary cutter, I am ready to Powertex. A firm brushing embeds the Powertex into the yarn and forms a great base to build on.

An hour later I have a quirky, individual roof for my house, the door is attached and the window frames are ready for some titivation. Old lace or crocheted doilies are spot on for this part of the project. A little drying time and my house is ready for colour. Today’s decoration is teal and purple but Powertex can be coloured in lots of different combinations.

 

Why not come along and make your own? Your house could soon be living at the end of the garden for the local fairy population, or go darker and make it appeal to some hobgoblins, perfect for the Halloween doorstep. Because my houses are built around a jar, just add some battery powered fairy lights for a whole new effect.

Next project is a seated figure. Perfect for a spot in the garden. Best get my thinking cap on.

Join Purple Boots for her Fantasy House workshop on Wednesday 29th November.

Click here to book online.

Purple Boots and the Powertex

 

I have been having lots of fun this week experimenting with our new range of Powertex products. Having worked with a visiting Powertex tutor I took myself off to Powertex UK to learn more about this exciting product.

Powertex fabric hardener and textile hardener is an environmentally friendly water-based liquid sculpting medium. It can harden absorbent materials such as textiles, paper, cardboard, fabrics, leather and fiberglass and can be easily combined with self-hardening clays, concrete, stone, ceramic, wood, sand and Stone Art.

Over the summer I have been collecting a range of materials to recycle as Powertex offers masses of opportunities for ‘green’ crafting. I have turned many old t-shirts into t-shirt yarn which we will come in really useful once I move onto bigger figures. Old jewellery is also a great resource, broken necklaces and old buttons and beads. I also discovered some lovely but stained old crocheted doilies in a charity shop and these too will be getting the treatment.

As a way of introducing Powertex I am running a course called Out of the Frame. This week I have been busy making the samples. First I covered my base materials – old frames and canvases – with some of those recycled t-shirts then I got creative. Powertex is absorbed by the fabric but takes some time to become hard so it allows for lots of opportunities to change my mind and reposition the elements of my designs. In order to get some elements to adhere you need a little patience and some jiggery pokery with scraps of lace and paper.

 

Time for a brew and step back for half an hour, and now the pieces I have been working on are well on the way to dry. At this point I need to pick a palette of colours for each piece I’m working on. Steampunk is gradually turning into shades of blue while my fantasy frame is a little more subtle with metallic shade.

Unlike other coloured media you cannot go too wrong with colour on Powertex pieces. If it’s too strong I simply take a little Powertex on my brush and blend it over to soften the effect. A little patience, a little layering, and I am done.

 

Now….fairy houses….hmmm!

Purple Boots x

 

Patchwork Slippers

 

 

A delightful design – these slippers are easy to make. They fit your feet snuggly and best of all, they are very portable. Just fold them up and take them on holidays.

 

Materials:

3.75mm needles

100g ball of double knit cotton/wool blend.

 

Suggested yarns:

Stylecraft Life DK 100g – 75% acrylic & 25% wool

Stylecraft Wondersoft DK 100g – 100% acrylic

Adriafil Knitcol 50g – 100% merino wool

Adriafil Regina 50g – 100% merino wool

 

Sizing:

The sizing of the slippers is altered depending on how many stitches you cast on and how many rows you work for each square.

 

Ladies Size 4        Each square should measure 3”. Cast on 16 stitches and work 19 rows

Ladies Size 5        Each square should measure 3 ¼”. Cast on 18 stitches and work 22 rows

Ladies Size 6-7    Each square should measure 3 ½”. Cast on 19 stitches and work 26 rows

 

 Stocking Stitch Square (make 4)

Cast on according to size.

1st row: knit

2nd row: purl

Repeat until you have completed the correct number of rows for your size.

 

Rib Stitch Square (make 4)

Cast on according to size.

 1st row: K1, P1 to end of the row

2nd row: P1, K1 to of the row

(Each row starts with the same type of stitch as the last row ends on)

Repeat until you have completed the correct number of rows for your size.

 

Moss Stitch Square (make 4):

Using the same technique that helps form the rib stitch, you can knit this striking effect. Moss stitch is essentially a 1×1 rib stitch.

Cast on according to size.

1st row: K1, P1 to the end of the row

2nd row: P1, K1 to the end of the row

(Each row starts with the opposite type of stitch as the last row ends on)

Repeat until you have completed the correct number of rows for your size.

 

 Making up:

 Step one:

Take 2 of each square to form each slipper, and sew together as in the photo. Two stocking stitch squares form part of the slipper base. Two ribbed squares form the base and sides. Two moss stitch squares form the heel and front of your slippers.

 

Make sure that you sew in the ribbed squares exactly as the picture shows so that the cast off edges form part of the opening of the slipper.

 

 Step two: 

Take the two moss stitch squares and sew to the edges of the stocking stitch squares as shown. You have now formed the heel and the toe. Now take one of the moss stitch squares only. This will form the front of your slipper. Sew up a third edge to the side edge of the ribbed square. Now sew up the fourth edge to the edge of the other ribbed square.

Finishing – To edge your slipper, crochet a chain around the opening of the slipper, or make an i-cord and sew around the opening.

 

I-Cord:

Step 1: Cast on a few stitches. I-Cord is usually made using 3-5 stitches.

Step 2: Knit one row

Step 3: Do not turn the work, just slip your work to the other end of your double

pointed needle. Your working yarn will be at the “wrong” end of your     work.

Step 4: Pull the working yarn tightly along the back of your work and knit the

next row.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have an I-Cord that will fit around the slipper opening with a slight stretch. Sew in place.

 

Decorate with buttons as we have done or embroidery, beads, ribbon. There are endless possibilities.

 

Loopy Scarf

This unusual looking scarf takes approximately one hour to make. Perfect for whipping up an evening, or in a long queue!

 

Requirements:

One set of 15mm straight needles

50g Adriafil Bloom,  Bi-use, or Mito for a more natural look.

Loop st: Insert needle into stitch knitwise, wrap yarn around needle twice. Pull yarn through, and leave both loops on right needle. Slide stitch off left needle.

 

Instructions:

Using 15mm knitting needles, cast on 5 sts.

Row 1: Loop st across all 5 sts.

Row 2: K all sts, treating each loop wrap as 1 stitch.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the scarf is the length

required, or you have 30 cm of yarn remaining.

Cast off loosely.

Making up: Wrap scarf around neck, and pull

through a central loop near end of scarf to secure.

We’ve knotted the ends of our scarf just to give it a little extra weight at the ends!

 

 

This pattern can be adapted to any yarn.  Our

recommendation is to use needles larger

than the yarn indicates and that the yarn should

have some variation in it.  The number of stitches

can also be altered till you get the width you need, although wider scarves will use more yarn!

 

 

Project Linus Update

We’ve received a wonderful message from Elaine, who distributes our Project Linus quilts. She’s had some thank-you emails, along with some lovely photos of happy recipients!

” ‘Since you came into St Johns and dropped off the blankets there has been a real special buzz on how well they are supporting the children in such a large variety of ways.

We separated the blankets into Seniors and Primary and each blanket has found a home with individual students for them to use during their school day. The blanket belongs to the student and will travel up with them through out their school life(which is perfect for this time of year when the students are going through such changes) and if the blanket last long enough will go with them into adulthood.

I’m so pleased I responded your email as the benefits seen in the students from having one of the beautiful hand-made blankets is so warming.

Please pass on my thanks to all the amazing members of the project who produce these beautiful items.

Thank you and take care
Faye’

A second thank you came from Bedford Hospital

‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the beautiful hand made quilts we have received on Riverbank Ward to use with the children here.Each one is a work of art and will be carefully placed with a child who I am sure will cherish it forever. It is such a lovely idea, thanks to you and your team for spending the time creating and making these beautiful items.
I’ve only just seen them today but felt compelled to email you immediately!
Anne’

And a third one from a Women’s refuge that Kathy specifically wanted to give some quilts to, after Ruth’s visit to our last meeting at Tudor Rose. the quilts had been sitting on the top of her wardrobe (as you do) and they have now found a new home

‘I just thought you may like to see two of the larger quilts in situ. They go beautifully with the colour scheme in our residents lounge. If you can pass on special thanks to Kathy too please. I haven’t managed to get our handyman to put up the ones for the wall yet, but I will send you a picture when I do.

Ruth’

So thank you all so much, it’s a pleasure to be able to spend time together at the Tudor Rose making the quilts and then deliver them around Bedfordshire and to see how grateful everyone is when I show them what I have brought them and they obviously get pleasure in passing them on to the children.
Enjoy the summer and see you all in September.

Regards,
Elaine”

Project Linus is a fantastic charity who distribute comfort blankets to disadvantaged and sick children and teens. You can find out more about their valuable work HERE

Want to contribute? Find out all about our upcoming Project Linus days HERE

Pixie Dust Crochet Along Blanket

PIXIE DUST (NOUN)

A substance or influence with an apparently magical effect that brings great success or luck.

Origin: 1950’s. From the magic dust that enabled humans to fly in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

We’re so excited to be announcing our very first Crochet Along! We will be officially launching for The Festival Of Quilts at Birmingham NEC from 10th – 13th August (we’re on Stand E3), but you can sign-up online now ready to receive your first installment on 15th August. When you buy the bundle at the special price of £20.00 you will receive a free pattern every following 2 weeks for 10 weeks. The end result is an adorable baby blanket or throw, use it in the pram, pushchair or car seat.

The blanket is made in the beautiful, soft Peter Pan Pixie yarn. The patterns are aimed at beginners and build each week on the skills you learnt the week before. However, this is a simple pleasure for the more experienced crocheter.

The pattern is utterly flexible, you could change the colours, increase the size, change the yarn. Make it for a friend, a child, a teenager, an elderly aunt…

You will need a 3.5mm crochet hook, scissors and a knitter’s needle, and the size of the finished throw is approximately 91.5 x 68.5 cm (36 x 27″).

Sign up and join in here: Pixie Dust CAL

Joy’s March Update

What’s been happening since my last update?

I mentioned I was crocheting mad – still am, nothing has changed there. I’ve lost count of the WIPs. There are presents for family and friends, tasks to encourage my mum back into crochet and of course, things that I just must do for me. And there’s a blanket CAL starting soon that I’ve got my eye on too. Never enough hours in the day. And I’m sure that’s the same for all of us.

My mum’s been unwell and needed to get her groove back. She tried to teach me to crochet when I was 8, then as a teenager. I was 43 before I asked her to show me again. I’ve come on leaps and bounds since then but she needed a helping hand. So I found us a lovely blanket of squares we could work on together and I’m pleased to say she’s enjoying herself again. And it’s been great that I could give her something back.

Since my last post, I attended the first beading class with our new tutor and that was a huge success. A lovely group of ladies just having a lovely time together, like minded but from so many different backgrounds and walks of life. I’m very much looking forward to our next class at the end of March. Sue Stallard proved to be a super tutor, our group is a mix of complete beginners, some of us with a bit of experience and a couple of ladies who have been beading for donkey’s years. I’ve already been shopping for our next two projects. It does help that I know what’s coming next and what we have in stock. Come and see our new beads and crystals all the way from Czechoslovakia.

I do enjoy sewing and quilting but as a busy mum I spend a great deal of time driving and waiting for children. The portability of crochet and beading just lend themselves to being picked up and put down. I sit in the back of the car sometimes, with my laptop on the seat next to me, watching the latest drama or documentary, a pile of wool around me, a pattern fastened on to the headrest in front of me and a flask of tea. It’s actually not a bad way to spend a few hours really, truth be told. However, roll on the longer nights, because beading to the illumination of a car light is quite hard work on the eyes.

At work, I’ve been working on a sample embroidery. It’s a stitched and stump-worked kit that we may stock in the future. But I have needed a magnifying lens and lights, as the piece and stitches were so tiny. And that was in broad daylight. Keep an eye out on our social media and website for the kits.

 

February Progress

Nothing much has changed, the weather is still dismal and grey.  Sad to say but I still haven’t finished my lovely big crocheted throw.  Nearly there, 180 rows done, just the edging to do.  Getting quite excited now the end is in sight.  It has been quite nice spending a little time each evening on the sofa in front of the TV with my ever-growing blanket keeping me warm.  Spent the day out with my son and 10 other 14 year olds over the weekend paint balling.  Well they were paintballing, I sat in the car and crocheted, jumped out into the rain, fed them, sent them off again, jumped back in the car, crochet and repeat.  They all had a brilliant time and were exhausted by 4 o’clock.  I had a marvellous time being able to crochet without feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing housework/ironing/vacuuming etc etc.

 

I have however also been working on a couple of my many UFOs.  Just a few…

 

Having finished this lovely little piece, I have rediscovered my love of handwork, I started this stumpwork piece in a class with Kathy Laurel Sage about 18 months ago and I completed it last week. Just waiting for a frame now.  And of course, I’ll have to find a home for it.  It has reminded me how much I enjoy cross stitch and embroidery.   And goldwork… and tapestry… and jewellery making in its various guises.

I’ve joined a monthly group starting next month here at Tudor Rose Patchwork with our new tutor Sue Stallard and I’m very excited about the projects we’ll be doing in class.  The samples for each class are lovely and I’ve had a wonderful day ordering in the beads and crystals we’ll need.

The shipment of Czech delicas arrived on Thursday.  Huge amount of work involved getting them ready for you all but actually thrilled about new projects that are ahead of us.  Not to mention a couple of UFOs too… along with a bracelet and a necklace that need attention.

Help!  There’s just too much to do and not enough time.  Maybe if I didn’t sleep, eat, work or have to do anything with the children.  And I keep finding more to do.  I belong to a couple of Facebook groups and every day there’s a new pattern I’d like to make or new products I’d like to try.  A good job I don’t belong to any other social media.  It’s just madness.  How do you decide which project, piece you’re going to work on next?  Do you try and finish something a section a week whilst working on several others at the same time or just wing it, work on what you feel like that day?